Eva Wang

Eva Wang

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I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror organising my hair about 30 minutes before a zoom meeting. My hair just kept coming off every time when I brushed it through with my fingers, though it fell less and less. I started to feel like stopping doing it, but I couldn’t stop myself and I just wanted to wait till my last pull wouldn’t come with any hair off. Thought it would stop before the meeting, but the meeting started while I was still brushing my hair. It was a strange feeling to see the sink full of so much hair, a bit terrified of getting bold, but also a bit satisfied about getting rid of all the falling hair, like a way of cleaning myself. This conflicting feeling made me think of my relationship with anxiety or worries, which I wanted to get away from but I couldn’t help myself drowned in. Anxiety or worries can also relate to a medical reason of hair loss. The idea of recording my action of brushing my hair as performance came first.
When I really decided to record it, I also thought of photographing the huge amount of hair left in the shower, which was a more frightening scene. Then I thought maybe, I should photograph all the falling hair whenever wherever I saw it on a daily basis. It falls and grows back everywhere every day, like anxiety or worries go away and come back everywhere every day. It shall be a collection of images and videos, and I want to taking notes of the time of each photo and video. The photos could be printed and placed casually in the space like hair.
Hair loss has been with me for years and not until recently did I notice its increase. The increased amount of time spent indoors partially due to the Covid-19-pandemic forced me to deal with myself in a degree. I have noticed fallen hair in the bedroom more frequently. It has become more and more annoying and frustrating as I photograph the hair. The project would not happen without the fallen hair but it exhausts me as it is endless.

The futility of attempts to feel my self-existence by seeking social distractions drove me to create a series of photographs. The absence of self-existence brings emptiness waiting to be filled, presented by the empty frame. The co-existence of ‘weighed down’, ‘weightlessness’ and ‘exploded’ beds make people feel holds the complicated feeling of emptiness, inspired by Brian O’Doherty’s reading about Robert Rauschenberg’s artwork Bed (1955).[1] Emptiness usually seizes me in daytime when it is wonderful outside while I am stuck inside. Then the crave for social connections hits me. The first attempt is to contact people, indicated by the neon keyboard letters, drawing on Tracey Emin’s neon signs. The form of infusion shows the attempt of getting external resources to fix internal problems, influenced by Tishan Hsu’s installation Feed Forward (1989). The second attempt is to go out, suggested by the empty hanger while clothes are being used. Being buried in clothes show the effort of trying while partially showing the body can create a depressive feeling and indicate fragmentary ego, inspired by Francesca Woodman’s photographs. The third attempt is to connect, showed by the woven paper and arms. Paper’s similarity to skin and its fragility indicate the futility of the connection, influenced by the exhibition ‘Zarina: Paper Like Skin’. The layered content in the frame creates a narrative of continuous attempts leading to the imbalance of the frame, which further suggests the futility. [1] Jens Hoffman (ed.), The Studio (London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2012).
Have you ever come across a moment when suddenly you lose the feeling of gravity and start to flow in an isolated space under a ray of sunlight? You are surrounded with air but you find it hard to breathe. You want to get hold of something to settle down to feel your weight. You make the effort with expectation. You grab one thing and it does not weigh you down, and you drop it. You grab another thing and it still does not make a difference, and you drop it again. You keep grabbing and keep dropping. Nothing works. The strength you spend only brings you more air you cannot breathe. Lack of self-existence takes away the ability of holding attachments. There is no stable base to build anything on. It is simply a cyclical process of grabbing and dropping while flowing in the air one cannot breathe. The journey of trying to evidence self-existence tells how empty and absent oneself is in return. It does not provide an answer, a direction or an advice.
Inspired by Tactual Stimulation by Dafna Kaffeman and Eye Miniature at V&A Museum, my photographs explore irresistible desire or impulse to get close to the attractive, forms that could hurt us emotionally. Using magnetism as practical irresistible force, iris shape as desire, formed by iron powder, light as attraction, a series of photographs show the process of how iris is attracted and damaged at the same time by light. The pupil dilates while being attracted and constricts while feeling sad as the light leaves.
Directed VS Undirected
Wandering in London, I became interested in direction signs and how citizens seemed directed on autopilot. However, after chatting with people, I realized citizens had their choices and stories behind the directions they followed. How the city and citizens look depends on the perspectives how we observe them. The installation divided the floor to variable units of squares consisting of four arrows each, representing how the city was divided by crossings. The movements in the squares always seem directed to go straight, left or right, the typical patterns of citizens’ navigation. The use of colors was inspired by Eliasson’s Your body of work and Colour activity house. Viewers are co-producers of color and reality, relevant to my idea of observers as a vital role in creating the view of the city and citizens.
United Kingdom
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